Friday, 10 June 2011

XD I Just Saw X-Men First Class! (Movie Review)

OK so you guys have read all the glowing reviews, all the 4 starred (some 5 starred) ratings & are wondering if it's all too good to be true? Well fear not! It is true. The movie is extremely well executed in more ways than one! Finally a movie that us X-fans have truly deserved!

Let's get the basics out of the way first. The year is 1962, the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Great instability & distrust leads to fears that the World is on the brink of her Third War. But not many know that these chain of events were spurred on by a maniacal mutant called Sebastian Shaw (who can convert energy to radically increase his own strength), the leader of the secret Hellfire Club. He is aided by his right hand woman, Emma Frost (a telepath having additional powers of turning her body to diamond).

Charles & Magneto

The crux of the story is all about the friendship of Charles Xavier & Erik Lensherr, how they meet & how things turn sour between them. To go against Shaw's small but powerful army of Frost, Riptide (who can create all types of winds) & Azazel (a demon-like teleporter), Xavier creates his band of merry mutants consisting of Mystique (our beloved shapeshifter from the original trilogy), Beast (the blue furry mutant with a high IQ), Banshee (with his supersonic scream), Darwin (reactive evolution) & Angel Salvadore (a winged mutant who can projectile a nasty acid vomit!). I won't get into any more details for fear of getting spoilery, so let's get to what makes the movie so great...

Firstly, Matthew Vaughn with his trusty writing partner Jane Goldman have penned a great story. True it isn't at all what the X-Men First Class comic series was, but keeping in mind that they are trying to be true to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as much as to the comics, it's a great adaptaion of the characters.

Unlike X3, this movie has heart, loads of it! Right from the dilemmas of Mystique & Beast, to the entire backstory of Magneto, everything is handled really well! In fact, Magneto is portrayed so well out here by Michael Fassbender that I think he's become my fave character in the movie! Jennifer Lawrence excelled as Mystique- be it her comic timing or emotional scenes. Looking forward to seeing more of her true-blue self in the sequel (which seems inevitable now). James Mcavoy has really given us a fresh new take on the Professor & I was really digging it! Though many accuse her of being wooden, January Jones' Emma is spot on actually cos in the comics she is a cold character, known for switching her loyalties as she pleases. So her "wooden performance" was just what the role called for! The entire cast has done a swell job!

The X-Team

The direction is brilliant! Some really cool shots. I loved the manner in which the XFC emblem is displayed as the movie title for one. And then there were shots that simply gave me the chills- kiddo Magneto unleashing his powers, Xavier's first use of Cerebro, Azazel's main fight scene!

I love that the movie doesn't take itself too seriously, something X-Men & X2 lacked in. I delighted in the jokes & enjoyed hearing the cinema hall roar with laughter along with me! Great references to the previous movies. And the cameos?? Yes, yes, Wolverine does make an appearance- which I know many will be happpy with- the gasp emitted from the guy sitting next to me was enough to let me know that. There's another cameo too (another actor from the OG trilogy) & two other character cameos to watch out for...

One thing I relished also was the camaraderie shown between the characters. The actors didn't seem to be "acting" here, it all seemed to come so naturally. Especially when watching the scene where they choose code-names, I felt this sorta thing- the actual friendship & team bonding between the characters was something else lacking from previous X-movies.

^Yup, that's me grinning besides the XFC standee at the cinema after my first encore of the movie! :D I went for XFC thrice in total! LOL

The visual effects? WOW! I was apprehensive about Mystique's transformation when seeing the trailers, but after seeing it on the big screen I can certainly say it's executed well! Ditto for Emma's diamond power. Actually all the powers in fact have been depicted really well. And don't get me started on the sub-lift scene lol! Even scenes that make subtle use of CG look great! My only grouse with it was in one scene, but telling that might give stuff away so I'll keep that for my "tell-all review" I'll be posting maybe a month from now (by that time all of us may have watched the movie twice at least? :P ) so that I don't spoil it for anyone.

The action never seems to be just some mindless explosions & fighting for no rhyme or reason. Each action has a specific reason behind it, & doesn't just seem like a desperate way to just give all the mutants a time to shine & show off with their powers. Quite unlike what we were served with in X3 :P

OK now I may be going a bit too deep in my review here but I felt the costumes deserve a special mention. They really brought on the 60's feel. The suits, jackets, skimpy dresses, sunglasses (loved some really retro ones on some characters!) & how can we forget Emma Frost's wardrobe & the uniforms!  Frost is known for her barely-there apparel in the comics so that's simply a very faithful portrayal of the character (in case any girls thought, 'What the heck is she wearing?!?' lol). The yellow-&-blue uniforms are a fresh change from all that black leather we got used to seeing in X-movies! AND I adored Fassbender's ENTIRE wardrobe! Amazing suits & jackets! The Fass carried off everything in style! Why on earth did Magneto sack his fashion designer when he got older is a real mystery LOL! A mystery that may be answered in the next sequel perhaps? ;P

Bottomline? My rating for it would be 4.5 / 5! Where's the 0.5 go? Well that question will be answered in my tell-all review post of course!

Wanna watch XFC in HD anytime you want at home?? Pre-order your Blu-ray &/or DVD today!

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